The way fate brings certain people to our path is sometimes incredible. I clearly remember the day when Alex and I met in a Buddhist nunnery set in the middle of rice fields at the foothills of the majestic Himalayas. It is funny and unbelievable at the same time that two people of the same nationality who come from the same town and who attended the same elementary school need to travel half the world in order to meet in India in the middle of nowhere. Against all the odds, that’s exactly what happened. Thanks to that, I can now offer you an interview with a woman who has become a very dear friend of mine. A woman whom you will never see without a smile on her face and who spreads joy wherever the roads lead her…
What made you quit your job, leave everything behind and become a globetrotter?
It has been my dream forever to travel around the world. I’ve always wanted to meet people of different nationalities and cultures because routine kills me and staying in one place is simply impossible for me.
How many countries have you visited?
Fifty-seven so far: on all continents except Antarctica.
Which place did you like the most?
Every destination has its own charms. I was enchanted by pink sakura trees in Japan, harsh but gentle nature of Tasmania, fairy tale-like turquoise clear waterfalls in Iceland, and superb South America. I always got to Asia for a “spiritual refreshment“.
Is there anything that you would never travel without?
I’d never travel without a smile. Smile is like a gate to strangers’ hearts who may selflessly help you one day.
Since we’re talking about helping others – have you ever been in a situation when you really needed help?
Yes, I have. In April 2015, I was hiking around the eighth highest mountain in the world called Mansalu when the biggest earthquake in the last 84 years hit us at 10,000 feet. The earth was shaking, we could hear horrendous rumbling sounds, it was cloudy and we didn’t know whether an avalanche or a landslide was going to bury us alive first. Fortunately, none of that happened and we were evacuated by a helicopter a week later. I’m glad I had a really good travel insurance which covered all the expenses. 😉
In 2016, you created a blog “Sama na cestách“ (Alone on the Road). What inspired you to start writing?
After my survival of earthquake in Nepal, I decided to share my experiences so that everyone knows that traveling doesn’t necessarily mean awesome moments which we share in pictures on social media. It is also about different hot potato situations and other fortuities when you need to play by ear. It is important to realize both sides of the coin while roaming the world because we never know what will get in our path and spoil our plans…
Apart from your travel experiences, what else do you like to write about?
I also like to share motivational advice and smart tips with whoever likes to live his or her life with joy, passion, and optimistic attitude.
Are you ever Not Alone on the Road?
If so, I need to hide from the civilization on purpose. 😉 For a while, I found a shelter in ashrams and Buddhist monasteries where you’re not allowed to speak while you’re on a retreat. These places gave me an opportunity to see the real myself; getting to know the self lies in silence and that’s why I love being alone.
„To love ourselves is not selfish.“
Do you have any life goals or do you prefer to improvize?
For a several years now, I’ve been surfing on the “here and now wave” and accepting whatever fate throws in my direction. When you switch to this thinking mode, you stop caring about insignificant things and you become truly happy. The aim of my life is to assist those who need my help as well as those who haven’t been as lucky as I have. This goal has become my mission so I try to volunteer as much as I can, giving hence my travels another dimension.
So you believe in fate?
Yes. I believe in fate, karma, and something bigger than us. How else could I explain the fact that I’ve traveled half the world, survived many obstacles and life’s drawbacks, as well as tasted nirvana? 😉
Where do you feel at home the most?
Among people that have their hearts in the right place, wherever that may be: down in Africa, up in the Himalayas, or in between in Indonesia. Everywhere, where the simplicity of life, gratitude for even tiny things, and community living in loving harmony reigns.
“I carry home in my heart and that’s why I feel at home everywhere in the world.”
You volunteered in Bali for some time. How did you help the locals?
I worked as a “house parent” at the Green School Bali during the academic year 2013-2014. Basically, I took care of 7 children that attended the school. Falling head over heels in love with the school made me write an e-book about this spectacular project. Not only is the school an architectural gem, but it also offers a unique curriculum to its students. Say, how many places educate children in ecological subjects?
What is your most treasured memory?
All the people that crossed my Path. I have an elephant memory so I never forget anyone – a stall guy that used to sell me fruit in Bali, a Nepalese sherpa who guided me on the track to Annapurna, all the taxi drivers, receptionists, cooks, or roommates in guest houses… Even though we met for a split second, their faces will never disappear from my memory. They were amazing! And I’m thankful that I was lucky enough to meet them.
Could you choose only one person among them that left the biggest impact on you?
It’s impossible to name only one. There have been many in the seven years of my travels but if I had to choose one, then the nicest encounter would be with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
What is your recipe for good mood?
I’d say strong will which believes that everything happens for our own good although we may not see it that way. Also, I believe that with an alert mind and objective judgment, all obstacles are overcome more easily.
What is the most amazing food you’ve ever tasted?
Sashimi served in Japan by my host family and Balinese green sweet pancake filled with shredded coconut which is called Dadar Gulung. However, the absolute winner for me is Swiss fondue and raclette. The cherry on the top in terms of exotic food that I’ve tasted would be abalone – large sea snails from South Africa. Those are just memories, though, I hardly eat meat now.
Is there anything you miss about your home country, the Czech Republic?
Yes! Our traditional Czech bread, sauerkraut, and the Beskydy Mountains. 😉
You conquered Kilimanjaro and a 20,000-foot glacier in Bolivia. Why do you miss the Beskydy Mountains?
I love the Beskydy mountains mostly because I grew up there. As a child I would spend whole summer at our cottage and play in the forests. In winter, I used to ski there a lot. It’s not the height of mountains that counts but the memories.
“Dreams exist in order to be fulfilled and not to be choked.”
What do you still have left on your bucket list?
I still want to go heli-skiing in Alaska. As a passionate skier, I’m definitely not giving up on this lifelong dream of mine!
What makes you happiest in the world?
When I see happy people around me.
Is there any piece of advice that you’d like to share with (novice) travelers?
From my own experience, I know that it’s vital to trust your own self and believe that bad things happen for a reason. Everything will show its true colors when the time is right.
Will you tell us your favorite motto that fuels your life?
♥♥♥ HELP IS SHARING, SHARING IS CARING, AND CARING IS LOVE♥♥♥
Alex says that the only souvenirs she has gathered are memories and experiences which she turned into her e-book called “Moje cesta aneb cesta jako sebeláska“ (My Way aka The Way as a Self-Love, available in Czech language only).